News

Looking at the World with Lavender-Colored Glasses June 24 2017

Hello Cookie Fans!

I feel summer is here at last.  We’ve loved on our moms, dads, and grads and now on the Outer Banks it's all about summer vacation.  With this comes small adjustments to local living --- don’t go out to eat or shop on a rainy day without patience...and, if you must go to the grocery on Saturday or Sunday make it early!  Breath in, breath out...and relax.  I use driving as an exercise in mindfulness, following the car in front of me and concentrating on my breathing.  It doesn't always work, but I think one should have goals.  It's a little easier when the driver ahead of me has used the lever that makes the lights on the vehicle go “blink, blinkey, blink.”

The Color Purple

We have been looking at the world through lavender-colored glasses in the Sweater Box kitchens lately.

It started when a local editor informed me our Lavender Cookies were making the “OBX Love List” of the Outer Banks Magazine.  As I've admired this publication for its content and and beautiful photography, I felt honored! (I’d like to thank my mother for her continuous support, my grandmother for inspiration, my agent and you, our amazing cookie fans.)  And when I saw us in print...well, I felt bona fide!  Free copies of the magazine are located throughout the Outer Banks.I then had the great fortune to meet Jenni Koontz with Epic Shutter Photography.  She came by the kitchen for a few hours and while I talked and made lavender cookies, she took pictures which she went on to feature in her blog!  It was a fun afternoon getting to know her a little and learn about her love of the water and mermaids.  Check out her photography and blog -- she’s featured other local business we love or give her a call if you are looking for a photographer.

The last of the lavender love I’d like to share with you is about White Oak Lavender Farm in Harrisonburg, VA.  I recently made a trip to the farm to deliver cookies and pick up more lavender.  As you can see from these pictures, the Haushalter Family has created a beautiful space where one can ponder or wander, taking in the spectacular mountains surrounding its location in the Shenandoah Valley.  For me, it's a welcome escape from our summer pace -- an opportunity to talk to the animals (alpacas, sheep, and goats...oh my!) and relax at the Purple Wolf Vineyard tasting room offering lavender infused wines. After a stroll around the farm, stop by the store and take in the many products they make right on the farm including soaps, lotions, and aromatherapy products. Oh yeah...and our Lemon Lavender Cookies too! There's lots of information out there about the health effects of lavender.  Without conducting our own double-blind research test we can not state conclusive facts about the powers of our lavender cookies but this is what we know...

Life seems more special when we take the time to slow down, enjoy time with the people we care about or have a conversation with someone we've just met.  We think there's no sweeter way to do this than with our Lemon Lavender Cookies.

Order today so you have a few on hand in case all that mindful breathing while driving doesn’t work -- studies show lavender has calming effects!

Sweet regards,

Chris & the Sweater Box Team


Avocado Or Harvest Gold? January 07 2017

Hello Cookie Fans!

I really enjoy reading cookbooks, more specifically, baking books.  Current books are prepared with amazing photography and stories often accompany most recipes or at least a short description about the inspiration.

But just like fashion and appliance colors, cookbooks change with the times.  This realization came Christmas morning as I sat down with a cup of coffee and toast and grabbed a nearby book to thumb through as I ate.  The book, Southern Living's "The Cookies and Candy Cookbook," circa 1972.  Some of you may remember cookbook series our mothers and grandmothers acquired, you know the cookbook version of the encyclopedias we used for book reports as kids.  The Casserole Cookbook edition was resting under the cookie one.

The photographs were definitely a sign of the times and the recipes were that and nothing more, a simple list of ingredients and mixing instructions.  Many were followed by the name and location of the contributor.  Mrs. George P. from Virginia Beach, Mrs. Andrew T. from Little Rock, Mrs. Patsy W. of Warner Robins, Georgia and Kathryn W. of Beckley, West Virginia.

As much as I love the stories and pictures of the newer cookbooks I was left wondering about the women who's names appeared after these recipes.  What is the story of these women?  My guess is they were women who loved to bake, entertain and make moments special for their families, friends or the new couple that moved in across the street.  They may have recently made holiday cookies with their kids, grand kids or even great grand kids.

The pictures reminded me of the cookies my Grandma Carroll made for us at Christmas or the pictures Facebook friends have been posting of their holiday baking creations.  As much as some things change, some things remain the same.

The same is true at Sweater Box Confections, some things may be changing but what will remain the same is our love of baking treats with quality ingredients so you can celebrate life.  Here's to a healthy, happy and prosperous new year!

​​​​​​​Sweet regards, 

Chris

P.S. And of course there was a handwritten recipe tucked inside the back cover.

Mama's Macaroni
1 Box macaroni, cooked & drained
2 cans cheddar cheese soup
1 can whole milk
1 can stewed tomatoes
3 slices raw bacon cut in small pieces
Dash pepper and salt
Mix all together, pour in baking pan and sprinkle with crumbled potato chips.  
Bake in oven 1 hour at 350 degrees.
Mary M. Harris